ASiM 32 April 2023
This month marks the start of year 4 of All Sound is Music. I’d like to thank Mike and Cass of Rarity Rock Radio for giving me the opportunity to share my love of ambient, electronic and experimental music with you. It’s a treat for me each month to curate a list of old favorites and new discoveries, of easy and difficult listening. And thanks to all of you who tune in to Rarity Rock Radio or catch the archive versions on YouTube. A playlist of archived shows is available here: http://bit.ly/allsoundismusic
To start off year 4 I’ve gone back to some of my favorite artists from previous shows and selected new tracks that I haven’t played on before. The show features old favorites like John Cage and Suzanne Ciani, as well as new favorites like Rainsoft, Alessandro Cortini and Hainbach.
Notes on the music:
Nice Sound #3, Ohio Bell Mystery and Rhythm Sample #2 – Raymond Scott. The show starts with a 13 second sound from Raymond Scott, best known for his jazz tunes and their use in Warner Brothers cartoons, Scott was also an electronic instrument inventor who pushed the outer limits of sound design in the 50s and early 60s. He invented the Electronium, an electronic instrument without a keyboard that could compose music based on hardware settings input by Scott. From Wikipedia: It is “An ‘instantaneous composing machine,’ the Electronium generated original music via random sequences of tones, rhythms, and timbres; Scott himself denied it was a prototype synthesizer — it had no keyboard – but as one of the first machines to create music by means of artificial intelligence, its importance in pointing the way towards the electonic compositions of the future is undeniable.”
Echoes of Brazil – Joel Chadabe. Chadabe, who passed away in 2021, was another important composer, electronic music evangelist and inventor. He designed a synthesizer which was built for him by Bob Moog in 1967. He founded a company to market hardware and software called Intelligent Music. He formed the Electronic Music Foundation, dedicated to increasing public awareness of electronic music. Later in life, driven by his passion for the environment he founded the Ear to the Earth Music Festival, which featured performances themed around nature.
The Unavailable Memory Of – John Cage. Although better known for his conceptual compositions, I love Cage’s early work for prepared piano. By placing objects in, on and between the piano strings he created a new piano sound that echoes the sonorities of percussion and gamelan orchestras. He composed many prepared piano pieces before moving on to focus on the concept of chance music and devising ways to remove the composer for the act of composing.
Scatternoise – Hainbach. Hainbach is a contemporary electronic composer/musician based in Berlin. In addition to being a prolific composer of ambient and experimental music, he is a well-know YouTuber. His clips on composing with synthesizers and vintage electronic test equipment are very popular.
Paris 1971 – Suzanne Ciani. Ciani is pioneer of early synthesized music. She worked at the San Francisco Tape Center and with Buchla, soldering and drilling boards to build Buchla synthesizers. During the ’70s and ’80s she was a much in-demand electronic stylist, writing advertising jingles for Coca-Cola, Atari, ABC, GE and other companies. She provided the swoosh noise for Starland Vocal Band’s hit Afternoon Delight. She became the first female voice on a pinball machine when she provided the sound design for Xenon and was the first female solo composer of a major motion picture score with The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
Forms in Movement – A Shamisen Orchestra. Guitarist Paolo Cortone took up the shamisen in 2014, becoming the first European to acquire an official Japanese stage name for shamisen performance. A Shamisen Orchestra places this traditional instrument in a contemporary setting with Western percussion and electronics.
Pinnacles of You – Caterina Barbieri. Barbieri is a Berlin-based Italian composer who has made a name for herself on the electronica scene by exploring, as she puts it, “psycho-physical effects of repetition and pattern-based operations in music”. The focus on repetition gives her work a minimalist minimalist sensibility, reminding me of Terry Riley and Philip Glass.
The New and Improved Guide to Birdwatching Volume 3 – Fadi Tabbal. Tabbal may be the busiest man in Beirut. In addition to releasing solo ambient recordings every year, he is the go-to producer for Lebanon’s rock scene and also plays in a rock band himself.
Solitude – Rainsoft. Rainsoft has been active in the electronic music in Shanghai for some time. Her latest recording Echoes from Afar was inspired by views of clouds and rain from window during the first months of Covid lockdown.
Bob in Your Fait – Julianna Barwick. Barwick grew up singing in a church choir and now composes mostly by creating loops of her voice and layering them together.
VINCERE – Alessandro Cortini. The prolific Cortini has released nearly two dozen recordings under his own name and as Sonoio. He’s also collaborated on several other projects and has been a writing, touring and recording member of Nine Inch Nails off and on since 2005.
All Sound is Music streams on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 pm MST on Rarity Rock Radio http://rarityrockradio.fm
Archives of past shows can be found at http://bit.ly/allsoundismusic